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  • iOS
  • Objective-C
  • Java

Customer

A US-based aviation consultancy

Problem

Softeq's customer wanted to launch an iOS application for logging flight information. The new development was to replace the existing legacy product which was not up to the latest business demands.

The previous platform required a physical, wired connection to a network in order for the data stored on the device to be properly uploaded to the backend database. In the modernized application, the latest technologies would allow pilots to log their flight data, submit it, and automatically synchronize it with the backend over a wireless data connection.

The new application was to collect flight information, build a data stream of all the collected data, and send the data to the backend server over a wireless data connection for further aggregation and reporting.

Following the main concept, there were two critical goals of this application:

  1. It was imperative that the data is not lost, even if the devices were disconnected from network data services
  2. The application was required to be seamlessly integrated with the legacy database solution

Solution

The application created by Softeq consists of a set of forms available to the pilot to fill in using an iPhone. The solution allows tracking a number of parameters including information about the origin and the destination, the crew, passengers, baggage, flight times, cargo, fuel and oil consumption, etc.

The pilot or crew can also store the flight operations log on the device and/or email it to the user's email address. The log is opened in Excel, where the flight data can be summarized on a monthly basis providing complete and detailed month by month records as required by the FAR's as well as the pilot's flight operations performance data.

Integrating with the legacy backend data storage

Since the project did not involve changes of the backend database application, the major challenge was to overcome the hurdles of association of new and old technologies.

To accomplish the task, Softeq developed a custom Java servlet enabling web services to integrate the mobile application with the storage of the streamed data.

The format of the data was critical for a proper integration with the legacy backend server system. Many of the form’s fields had specific data requirements, therefore the team carried out an extensive validation that all fields properly filter and accept data.

The data was rigorously tested and verified for accuracy. After full form validation the data stream is sent to the backend server using a simple CSV format.

Preventing data loss

To ensure data integrity, Softeq developed a mechanism for persisting the data locally on the device in the event that a data network connection was not available.

Thorough testing was done to ensure that all data is properly persisted in the absence of network connectivity and that the data is properly sent to the backend server, once a data connection is successfully established.

The application supports automatic delayed synchronization (on network availability). The biggest issue, yet successfully resolved, was with identifying quality data network connectivity.

Results

Softeq successfully overcame the challenges and delivered a fully operational solution. The app serves as a flight operations management tool for individual aircraft owners, corporate flight departments, charter operators and flying clubs under FAR part 91, 135, or small 121 operations.

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